4 Data Analytics for OTAs to Improve Customer Experience and Business Operations
Demand for travel has grown significantly faster than in previous years, putting additional pressure on online travel agencies (OTAs) to increase customer loyalty and customer experience. Intensifying competitive landscape with new players is a constant struggle for OTAs to sustain their business and retain customers. Data analytics for OTAs is the most valuable asset to derive informative insights about your customers and gain a competitive advantage.
In this era of big data, online travel agencies must equip themselves with the right analytics tools to make data-driven decisions and understand evolving consumer behaviors. We know data analysis can be time-consuming, so we are here to explain which data analytics OTAs must focus on to make data-driven decisions.
Different Data Analytics for OTAs
OTAs have a rich source of information directly from the customers. This helps them understand the entire ecosystem of their customer’s travel. Let’s dive into five data analytics that can make a profitable impact on travel agencies.
- Customer data analysis
Wondering what is on your customers’ minds as they begin to plan their next holiday?
Well, the answer to this is customer data analysis that will help you understand the preference and behavior of your customer. It is a gold mine for travel agencies to provide a better customer experience and build better customer-centric products. Commonly data generated by customers are classified as web behavior data, transaction data, product usage data and customer-generated text data. Once analysis is done, OTAs can categorize their customers into market segments and develop a well-defined strategy for customer acquisition, retention and active engagement.
- Demand forecasting
Now that you have gathered customer data, it’s time to focus on demand forecasting analysis. Accurate demand forecasting is an essential factor for revenue management. Using historical booking data and competitor analysis, revenue managers at OTAs can predict future guest demand and manage their hotel suppliers and inventory effectively. One tip we suggest is to segment your forecasts into different categories, such as
- Geographical origin of the guests
- Room type
- Type of traveler (leisure, business, bleisure)
Demand forecast analysis will estimate room demand and determine highly profitable room rates in real-time for maximum income.
- User experience analytics
Poor user experience can have a negative impact on your brand, hence the next data analysis that OTAs must focus on is user experience (UX). UX analytics will provide actionable insights on your platform design performance and provide answers to questions like
- Are they too many touchpoints on your website and mobile?
- Is my interface conversational for users?
- Why are my users leaving without booking a hotel?
- Is my platform content arranged to git user’s intention?
OTAs can perform quantitative and qualitative data measurements to build data-informed design so that it’s easy for users to engage how you want them to, such as by booking a hotel or signing up for your newsletter. The end goal of UX analysis is to deliver a frictionless and intuitive user experience, driving better customer retention.
- Price optimization
Moving away from customer-centric data analytics, price management initiatives is one of the most powerful data for improving profitability. According to research, pricing analytics can yield 200-350% ROI. By analyzing various real-time data metrics such as customer buying patterns, weather, seasonal booking pattern, etc., the machine learning models can identify optimum prices to drive conversions. With pricing analytics, the guess work or gut instincts are out of the window, and OTAs can synchronize their pricing strategies in real-time and present the right price at the right time.
Data is the cornerstone for every travel business’s growth and, ideally, the secret to launching successful strategies and stellar customer experience. In the travel industry, OTAs have the advantage of having valuable customer data, which they can convert into actionable insights and make smarter decisions about their business. Focus on the aforementioned data analytics for OTAs to stay ahead of your competitors, deliver excellent customer experience and sustain optimum business performance.